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Google Analytics vs. Google Search Console: What are the Difference?

Google Analytics and Google Search Console Logo
One of the best ways to operate a successful website is to understand how your site is being used. Knowing who is visiting your site, what types of devices they are using, geographical location, and which keywords they are using to find your site helps you fine-tune your site and drive more traffic.   Understanding where your clicks are coming from will help you streamline your marketing to areas where there is a lot of interest. Knowing what keywords are most often used helps you understand what drives a visitor to your site. Knowing if people are linking to your page will give you an idea if other people see your site as an authority.   But how do you find out all of this information? Google provides website owners with two very important tools. Google Console and Google Analytics. Both of these services provide incredible information for website owners, and as a bonus, both programs can be integrated into each other for even more use.  

Google Console

  Google Console is a tool that every site owner should use. This free program was formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools. However, in 2015, Google changed its name to Google Console so that the name would be more inclusive. They wanted people who are not working as webmasters to feel comfortable to take advantage of this free service. The name change worked, and many people are now enjoying this free service.   Google console allows you to see who is visiting your site by geographical location, see where the clicks are coming from, and what type of device they are using to access your site.   Google Console also allows you to verify your site with Google, submit a sitemap, and fix website errors. Google Console also allows you to do things like add Google tags to your pages or connect Google Tag Manager to your console. Tags for your site help Google catalog your pages for the search engines.   The most important feature of Google Console is able to verify your site. Once you have verified your site through Google, you will move up in rankings. Google feels more comfortable listing verified sites first because they know who owns and operates the site. You can follow the dropdown boxes on the site to verify your site quickly.  

Google Analytics

  Google Analytics provides a very in-depth look at your website usage. For many people, Google Analytics can be a little overwhelming. The amount of data that is produced by this tool is amazing, and each time you check your data, you will discover something new.   The most important part of Google Analytics is the information it provides you about who is visiting your site and what they are looking for when they visit. Some of your pages may be very popular, while others draw no traffic. Knowing what is popular and what is not helps you create more desirable content and get more visits.   Google Analytics helps you break data down about visitors to your website to the most basic form. You will get incredible information about your marketing strategies and who is drawn to the site from your different campaigns. You will also discover time slots where your site is more popular, days that your site is most active, and pages or content on your site that draws no visits at all.   Google Analytics provides a comprehensive look at your website from angles you may not have even thought about. For many people, the information is overwhelming and possibly overkill. However, you feel about the amount of information; you should still take advantage of this free service.   Over time, especially if you integrate Google Console with Google Analytics, you will start t see where all of the information in analytics is relevant to your site. Google Analytics is a learning process, even for the more advanced web designers.  

Why Are These Programs So Important?

  Many people wonder if it is really necessary to do all of this research on their websites. After all, they have created an eye-appealing site and have invested heavily in marketing the site. The answer to that thought is yes. Yes, it is important to know the data about your site because the Internet is a very large place.   New websites enter the Internet each day. To keep your site relevant, you need to take the extra steps to understand who visits your site and why. You need to know what demographics are attracted to your site and where they are from. You need to know what they are searching for, how they find you, and what they do once they are on your site.   Learning who visits your site and why it also allows you to adjust inventory and change the products that you offer to meet demand. It allows you to refresh your content to target the audience that enjoys your site and create new content that i’ll target an entirely new type of visitor.  

Learning The Two Programs Takes Time

  Google Console is probably the easiest of the two programs to use and learn. For some site owners that are not into mega-amounts of data about site visitors, this is the perfect tool. You can make sure that your site is verified, that it has the appropriate tags to be found by Google, and that the content remains fresh. You can track just enough data to keep your site relevant.   If you are driven to make your site grow and to continually drive new visitors to the site, you will want to take the time to learn Google Analytics. Be patient, this program offers an overabundance of information, and it will take time to learn what is most relevant to you. Additionally, Google Analytics also adds features on a continual basis, so there will always be more to learn.   For the most success, use both programs to manage your site. Even if you are not sure about all of the data that comes in, you will get the most benefits by combining the data from both of these programs.  

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